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DIY your own nontoxic laundry detergent using just 4 household ingredients


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Photo: Getty Images/Maskotjpg

When you’re going chemical-free, cleaning up what goes in your body is only part of the equation. You also need to simplify what goes on your body. Aside from giving your makeup bag a makeover with better-for-you natural products and swapping toxic perfumes for essential-oil-infused versions, improving your laundry routine is also important. And believe it or not, making your own detergent at home, using common household products, is actually super easy.

While many store-bought laundry detergents are filled with often-unlabeled chemicals that you definitely don’t want rubbing on your body 24/7, creating your own clean washing solution can cut the potential health risks involved.

But are these risks worth the trouble of adding another DIY project to your growing slate of worthy tasks like “plant indoor garden” and “Kondo the closet“? Yes, considering what past research has unveiled about the effects of common detergent ingredients: Surfactants can lead to eye, lung, and skin irritation, nonylphenol ethoxylate could mess up your hormones, 1,4-dioxane is labeled as a likely carcinogen, and all those artificial fragrances and perfumes (you know, the ones that supposedly make your clothes smell like meadows and rainforests) can leave you with skin irritations, asthma problems, and headaches. Yikes, right?

Creating your own clean laundry detergent at home only requires four common ingredients: Super Washing Soda, baking soda, liquid Castile soap, and water.

So the effort output is totally worth the payoff in this case, especially since mixing your own detergent only requires four super-common ingredients. And, yep, this does in fact mean that in the process of safeguarding your skin, you’re also be able to save money for important things like a restorative getaway. Just use the easy recipe that Bren Fey of Brendid.com, a blog that shares tips for nontoxic living, created for brewing clean laundry detergent at home. Mix 2/3 cup Super Washing Soda, 3 Tbsp baking soda, 1/2 cup liquid Castile soap, and 5 cups water—and take solace in knowing all ingredients are rated as the best of the best by the Environmental Working Group, according to Fey.

After bringing your water to a boil, pour the Super Washing Soda in a separate large mixing bowl and slowly stir in the first two cups of water. Next, add in the baking soda, tablespoon by tablespoon. Once the mixture is thick, pour in the liquid Castile soap and remaining boiling water and transfer the detergent into two quart-size Mason jars. After the mixture completely cools, Fey recommends giving it a nice blend or whisk to fully combine all the ingredients. And if you want your detergent to have a heavenly scent, simply add in some drops of your favorite essential oil.

See? Easy-peasy. To do laundry with this DIY recipe, you only need 1/3 cup every time you do a load in order to get the job done, and one batch should last you around 13 loads. And there you have it: No more dirty detergents messing up your health.

Try these simple solutions to combat common laundry problems. Or, check out the laundry hampers that will make your dirty duds look high fashion.

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